born Joanne Höch in Gotha, studied art in Berlin and worked as
a pattern designer and writer on women's handicrafts from
1916–1926. Her affair and artistic partnership with Raoul
Hausmann, a Viennese artist, lasted from 1915 to 1922. Through
Hausmann, she became part of the Berlin Club Dada, the German group
of Dadaists, an artistic movement dating from about 1916 and also
involved, after the first World War, with political radicalism.
Höch herself expressed herself less politically than many of
the others in the group. From 1926–1929 she lived and worked
in Holland. She lived for some years in a lesbian relationship with
Dutch poet Til Brugman.
Höch spent the
years of the Third Reich in Germany, trying to remain quiet and in
the background. She married the much-younger businessman and
pianist Kurt Matthies in 1938, divorcing in 1944.
Though her work was
not acclaimed after the war as it had been before the rise of the
Third Reich, she continued to produce her photomontages and to
exhibit them internationally until her death.
In her work, she
used photos, other paper objects, pieces of machines and various
other objects to produce images, usually quite large.